Chris Kelly, better known as one half of the 1990s rap group Kris Kross, was buried in Atlanta on Thursday. Chris Smith, the other half of Kris Kross, said confidently at the funeral that his former partner was now in heaven.
According to the Associated Press, Smith gathered alongside 300 other friends, family and associates at the Jackson Baptist Memorial Church in Atlanta to pay homage to Kelly at his funeral. Smith, who performed with Kelly throughout the '90s as Kris Kross, was reportedly in tears throughout his speech at the pulpit.
"It's been a struggle for me every day, but there was a peace that came over me this morning because I know he's in heaven," Smith said at the funeral. "We had so many memories. He was a true friend. He wanted to see if I was all right. So I just want to say I love you, man, and I'll miss you."
Kelly was reported dead May 1 after being found unconscious in his Atlanta home. According to Reuters, authorities believe that a combination of heroin and cocaine played a part in his death.
In one of the most notable moments from the funeral, So So Def Records founder Jermaine Dupri was seen honoring Kelly by wearing his pants backwards at the ceremony. At the height of their 1990s success, Kris Kross fashioned a unique image as both Kelly and Smith wore most of their clothes backwards at concerts and press photo shoots.
While Kris Kross was never officially signed to So So Def -- Dupri discovered Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly and Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith at an Atlanta-area shopping mall -- Dupri went on to produce all three of the duo’s albums and maintained a close relationship with the rappers for years.
Though Kris Kross disbanded in 1998, the hip-hop duo recently reunited for the So So Def Records 20th anniversary concert put on in Atlanta by label founder Dupri. Other artists performing in the concert included Xscape, Dem Franchize Boyz and Jagged Edge.
Kris Kross was best known for the hit 1992 single “Jump” and their four-time Platinum record “Totally Krossed Out.” Kris Kross released two albums after “Totally Krossed Out”: "Da Bomb” and “Young, Rich, & Dangerous,” but neither reached the first effort's level of runaway success.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.